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+ servings

Saffron and Cardamom Poached Pears

yield: 4 servings
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  • 1 tablespoon fresh cardamom pods
  • 3 cups dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 firm pears, peeled but stems intact (see baker's notes)
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche


  • Gently crush 1 tablespoon fresh cardamom pods with a rollin pin to slightly crack open pods without releasing seeds. Combine with 3 cups wine, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads and a pinch of kosher salt in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  • Once the sugar dissolves, bring the mixture to a steady simmer. Add 4 peeled pears, adding additional water if needed to completely submerge pears. Cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer, turning occasionally, until pears are tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer pears to a plate. Increase heat to high and boil poaching liquid until reduced to 1 cup, around 15 minutes.
  • Spoon syrup over warm pears. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche.


Barely, barely adapted from Bon Appetit